Students find passion in creating an Instagram feed

June 1, 2018 — by Esha Lakhotia and Muthu Palaniappan

In April 2017, sophomore Iris Chiu started a season-themed photography account on Instagram with the handle @iriscphoto. It now has over 500 followers and 130 posts with a moody and seasonal theme. For example, in the summer, her pictures are more joyous and bright, while the fall produces more red- and orange-toned pictures.

Chiu is one of the thousands of Instagramers who explores her creativity through photos.

Nowadays, it is not unheard of for students to check their Instagram feed every hour. In the growing world of technology, people have become more and more obsessed with creating the perfect Instagram feed.

Instagram is all about the aesthetic of one’s images on his or her profile. Many users will spend time on three to four photo editing apps before finalizing a photo they will post on their feed. Some Instagrammers create profiles with a central theme, like food pictures or photos that are pink.

Most students at SHS have Instagram accounts, but most are private personal accounts where they post photos featuring friends and fun activities. However, some students also have additional photography accounts that are public and theme-based.

For instance, Chiu mainly posts portraits of her friends and other models. Her photoshoots range from half an hour to three hours, depending on how experienced the model is.

“I recently did a shoot with a model for 30 minutes and the pictures turned out pretty bomb,” Chu said. “For events like prom, grad parties and birthday parties it takes more time.”

Chiu reaches out to models she finds on other Instagram accounts to book photoshoots, and they also occasionally reach out to her. For more formal events like pre-prom, Chiu is paid, but for model photoshoots, Chiu works for free as they allow her to explore her creativity in photography, unlike a professional job.

During a photoshoot, she takes around 500 photos with her Sony a6000, later edits about 50 on an apps like VSCO and Lightroom, and ends up posting around five on Instagram.

“I can spend hours and hours editing because it's pretty fun, but it is also very exhausting,” Chiu said.

Similarly, senior Ian Kim also uses Instagram to post artsy photos of food and places he visits on his two accounts, @ian_minsung and @ianminkim, respectively. He uses a Fujifilm Xpro-2.

He usually uses Lightroom or Lightroom mobile to edit and make his food account, @ian_minsung,  bright and vibrant. He said that the process of running two accounts is complicated because he needs to take with photos for both accounts.

“Because I don't feel comfortable posting mediocre photos, it's sometimes hard meeting that quota for both accounts,” Kim said. “I have two accounts because one is more for fun and for food, and the photography account is for more of my personal, more serious photography that I'd like to express.”

He started both accounts in early 2016. Although both were started as accounts to socialize with friends, his theme quickly took over. Kim only spends around five to 10 minutes editing and taking his photos, but has already surpassed 500 followers on @ian_minsung, and 100 followers on @ianmkim. Kim doesn’t know exactly what’s in the future for him in terms of photography, but hopes to keep pursuing his passion throughout college.

“I plan to keep improving in photography throughout college and to delve into more serious gigs such as commercial, fashion or anything I can try through college connections,” Kim said.

 

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